Bedtime reading

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Yesterday was another day of two meetings, a bad habit I really need to break out of. I didn't manage to get to anything garden-related until (as you may have guessed from the post title) bedtime.

I read Gaia's Garden again, this time exploring the chapter on animals in the garden. Animals here include insects - lots of them - poultry, and small mammals.

He opened by watching a birdfeeder, kind of like I did the other day, and talks about moving the birdfeeder around so that all that activity can enrich different parts of the garden. I think I'll try that, especially since the area right under the birdfeeder seems to get battered after a while.

Looking beyond that, though, there's a lot about planting specific flowers to attract beneficial (usually predatory) insects. Rather than trying to annihilate every insect around - which hits predators especially hard, as there are fewer of them - it makes sense to build a real food chain. The insects that bother us most are usually insects that someone else would like to eat.

It's not just predatory insects, of course, but birds too. (He doesn't mention bats, but I'll finally be putting a bat box on the house to keep mosquitoes down.) There's a lot here about attracting birds, not just for their beauty, but because they have the patience to hunt bugs. Even hummingbirds eat a lot of insects!

The section on rabbits might be where some of Angelika's ideas on rabbit tractors came from (it even mentions Angoras), and there's some fun stuff there about ducks and chickens as well.

Reading this first should make reading the seed catalogs a lot more fun. Of course, the catalog folks must have known that, since I got two more today.)

(Incidentally, I heard today from a friend that after writing Gaia's Garden, Toby Hemenway shifted gears toward a more urban approach to life, breaking away from what he saw as unsustainable rural life.)

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This page contains a single entry by Simon St.Laurent published on January 17, 2008 8:01 PM.

Honeybees, Bumblebees and birds was the previous entry in this blog.

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